Tuesday, May 29, 2012

12 Months with the new Jeep GC

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Hemi with Quadra-track after 12 months and 11,362 miles
Plus side:
Great ride for a 4x4, great interior, everything works the way its designed to work, no problems and I'm just coming up the 3rd oil change, the new Hemi kicks ass.
Minus side:
The new Hemi sucks gas!

Fun Stuff:
My car has no radio! It has an entertainment/information center with a big screen on the dash and controls on the steering wheel. There is another screen in between the tach and the speedometer. The small screen is actually another information center, distance ‘till empty, mpg, average speed plus it has a 2nd read out for the navigation system. I can use the steering wheel or the touch screen to operate the entire thing. On my steering wheel I can control my phone, my audio system, 2 different modes of cruise control and all the functions of the small computer in between the tach and the speedo.

My car can talk to me, tell me stuff and ask me questions.  When I get in my car, the car connects itself to my phone, it evens asks me if I want it connected. If I run out of gas my car will notify somebody, someplace about how fucking stupid I was to run out of gas. If I got shit faced and ran into a pole, the car will call emergency services (cops) However, it will ask me if I’m okay before it makes the call. If I say I’m okay the car will ask me what I want to do, if I don’t answer it immediately calls the cops.

The woman my car employs to ask me questions, to tell me answers, has an attitude. She has a haughty, rather pissy edge to her. She is exceedingly polite, but polite in the way a sales person at Tiffany’s looks at you when you are wearing a cheap sport jacket from Sears and looking at rings worth 12k.

I have actually told the woman to fuck off a few times, usually I just mutter bitch under my breath.  There is another woman’s voice my car uses, she is computer generated, I love her because she has that vague , kind of cute Scandinavian sound, like she is the sister of the weather voice. When I call my friend George Johns, she will say “wood u like tah call Cheorge Chans-werk?” I say yes and she answers, “calling Cheorge Chans, werk” then the other bitch jumps in and says; “is this correct? I get mad and yell “YES!”

The media center in my car has the following features in addition to the phone and navigation systems. AM, FM, Sat, CD, MP3 plug in for a I-Pod, a lap top, I-Pad or my Blackberry, it plays DVDs (only when you are in Park) and a hard drive that will accept 3,000 hours of music and play it back to you via 12 speakers including a 10 inch woofer.  When I down load music it downloads not only the music, the information about each song and the CD cover. You can drive down the road with an 8 inch picture of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Clapton or Barry White staring at you. The satellite radio has so many channels you can’t use them all. One night driving from Santa Monica I listened to the Penthouse Channel, on the air were two old porn stars (one of them had a great voice) they were taking calls from morons who were having them act out sexual fantasies on the radio. The porn stars were giggling at the stupidity of it, being really snarky with the poor bastards calling in. If you don’t think about it, it was mildly amusing. Then you realize how lonely and desperate the guys are saying stuff like “now bite her nipple and put your hand in her panties”. It was so sad I flipped over to the replay of Terry Gross on NPR Talk.

The car has two cruise controls, the old fashioned regular cruise control and a new system called “distronic”. The new system, once you set it for speed and distance it maintains it according to the traffic around you.  When we coming back from San Diego, I set the ‘distronic” at 84 mph and the appropriate distance from the car in front of me, we are rolling in the high speed lane and we came up behind a car doing around 75, the car simply slowed down, matched the distance and settled in, I didn’t have to do a damn thing. I pulled into the lane on the right, the car accelerated back up to 84 and we were around him. The really cool thing is that if traffic stops, the car slows down and stops itself! When you get to about 20mph it beeps at you from the information center. There is a little radar gizmo that runs the “distronic”. The radar operates even when the “distronic “ is off. If you’re driving in traffic and some asshole jams on the brakes in front of you, the car goes beep-beep-beep and flashes a big STOP on the small screen…saved my ass last night when I was fooling with the entertainment/info  system and not watching the road! It also has a backup camera and little lights in the mirrors that tell me when someone is hiding in my blind spots!

The car can tell me the temperature inside the transmission, the transfer case and when to change its vital fluids. It tells me when it’s in ECCO mode or total guzzler mode. The “Quadratrack 4” system operates in automatic mode or you can set it for snow, rock, mud or sport. When it is set to an off road position it raises itself to 10.8 inches ground clearance, when it’s in Sport it drops 4.5 inches and the power goes 80% to the rear wheels and 20 to the front. It has 4 Low available and a descent control plus a tow mode…basically all I have to do is steer. We were pulling the Airstream down a 5 mile plus 6% grade. I was using the tow/haul mode and the distronic cruise control, I never had to touch the brakes.

It has 8 way power seats with heating and cooling, the sun roof goes almost to the back of the car. The backs of the 60-40 rear seat tilts and the seat is heated and the rear passengers have their own heating and cooling controls. A great big dude like Ray (over weight, ex UCLA ballplayer) could ride to Boston back there and never get a numb ass or cramps in his legs. Ray, of course would have his own reading light, too.

In other words, this new Jeep has erased the all the fond memories of my ’77 Cherokee Chief, the one with the split plastic seats, the windows that would fall down when you went over a bump, the one with the anemic, weak kneed, gas sucking 360 V8 under hood, manual hubs and an AM/FM mono radio with the blown speaker and a really shitty heater. Yes, that one. Of course, I’m sure I can’t fix a broken alternator bracket on the new Jeep with a bolt I took off the spare tire hanger either. Can’t win them all! 
The new Jeep was designed in conjunction with the new Mercedes Benz ML SUV, they have the same air suspension, unibody and independent suspension, they don't look alike until you park them next to each other. And the GC with all the goodies is around 12k cheaper. When FIAT took over Chrysler Jeep they must have sent an interior designer to Jeep and put him to work...the interior is gorgeous.
So far we love it and zero problems. Did I mention the new Hemi sucks gas?

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